All About Space - - News - Gemma Lavender Editor

Are we alone in the So­lar Sys­tem? Whether we're able to an­swer the ques­tion with a re­sound­ing yes or no is still a flab­ber­gast­ing con­cept. If we are – and even ex­tremophiles are nowhere to be found in our so­lar neigh­bour­hood – then where does that leave us in the hunt for life in plan­e­tary sys­tems be­yond ours? If we aren't alone, then there's myr­iad ques­tions to be an­swered: what's this newly un­cov­ered life­form like? Are we able to com­mu­ni­cate with it? Could we live to­gether in the So­lar Sys­tem with­out us contaminating its world while we go about our stud­ies of its planet or moon? As you'll dis­cover on page 16, sci­en­tists from NASA, ESA and else­where have some thoughts about that – what's more, they've pin­pointed the des­ti­na­tions on our side of the galaxy where life is likely to ex­ist and how we're go­ing to go about sniff­ing them out.

If you've al­ways wanted to dis­cover a comet, see a star ex­plode be­fore ev­ery­one else, find an ex­o­planet or un­cover a new as­ter­oid, then you're in luck: as­tronomers who have done just that have shared their se­crets, tips and tricks in mak­ing that ground­break­ing dis­cov­ery from your back garden.

Look­ing for your next piece of kit? Don't for­get to take ad­van­tage of our fan­tas­tic new of­fer where we're giv­ing away free Ke­pler GL 10x50 binoc­u­lars when you subscribe to the mag­a­zine. Head to page 34!

In­Sight is due to launch on 5 May and will re­veal more about Mars‘ in­te­rior

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